Let me begin by stating that I hold both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree. I do not state that to get the adulations of the reader, but to qualify myself as one who can speak with at least a small degree of authority on this subject. Let me also be fair in stating that I loathed school. Do not misunderstand, I love and cherish education, I just hate school. I am a lifelong learner. I enjoy reading, researching, and experiencing new things. I love furthering my education. However, I am not one that fits very well into perfectly cut holes. My biggest problem with the public educational system (primary, secondary, and post-graduate) was that much of what I ‘learned’ had nothing to do with my desired education, and some of what I DID had little to do with learning. There were just too many hoops to jump through. That is the biggest reason my wife and I homeschool our children. We want to allow our kids to be self-directed in their preparation for life.
The philosophy of getting an education that actually has something to do with my future is one reason I am disgusted with the new rules requiring a two-year degree (or the equivalent) for a Licensed Appraiser and a Bachelor’s Degree (or the equivalent) for a Certified. What do the degrees need to be in, one might ask? Well . . .Underwater Basket-weaving, for all they care. Believe it or not, it does not matter AT ALL what the degree topic is (other than a few, required courses)–it just matters that you have a degree. Why? That is the question of the century.
If I sound a little cynical, that is because I AM!!!! Though I have asked many different individuals in many different (sometimes lofty) positions, I have yet to receive a satisfactory answer to this simple question. The purpose for this requirement seems to be nothing more than to impose yet one more stumbling block to keep the number of appraisers to a minimum. It is just one more arbitrary step that one must take before they can be crowned with the reward of being called an appraiser. The best explanation I have heard is that “it gives our profession more credibility.” Okay. If you think forcing a group of people to squeeze through requirements that have nothing at all to do with the quality of their appraisal work gives more street-cred, then more power to ya. Though let me ask you this: If your doctor had a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts, would you think that increased his credibility as a doctor?
I currently have an employee who has been working for me for the past 3 years. She is an amazing person with incredible analytical skills that, frankly, make her a better appraiser, in many ways, than I am. Though she is not a licensed appraiser yet, she has a desire to be one. In fact, this has been a dream of hers since she was in high school. For various reasons, she does not have a college degree. A few college classes under her belt, yes, but no certificate. Her plans were to get her Trainee’s license at the end of this year and be licensed by mid to late 2015. Well, those plans are now up in the air. Why? All over a little rule-change that has really thrown a wrench into her career goals and life.
I am all for improving the industry. The quality of appraisers as a whole is an issue. If there are legitimate ways we can assist appraisers to become better, I am all ears. If, however, our goal is simply to limit the progress of would-be appraisal business owners, I find this practice shortsighted,unfair and completely ridiculous. . Tell me where I am wrong.
Now, go create some value!
Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner, but he has found most of his success as a self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., and is a popular author, speaker and consultant. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth. He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.